MN-UN: How did you get your start in the business?
RL: Our love of wine got us thinking planting wine grapes would be fun. It was a great hobby and family activity to grow grapes. When our vineyards got so big we decided to start making wine. Now after ten years, we have 30 acres of grapes and produce thousands of cases of wine and we just keep growing.
MN-UN: Of the ciders you produce, which is your favorite & why?
RL: That is a tough question. We produce great white and red wines. My favorite wine depends on the day and what food I am going to have! Today, my favorite is our 2015 Marquette made from 100% estate grown grapes, barrel aged for 13 months in Minnesota oak. The wine presents rich flavors of dark fruits with a hint of caramel and honey. It’s bold finish is great for drinking with big foods.
MN-UN: Tell us about a unique wine or related product you have?
RL: We are always expanding our apple based wines. We currently offer three flavors, and will add another in 2017. These are marketed under our “Skinny Dipping” label and are sweet and fun – made for drinking in the moment wines. The most popular is called Sundance, and has flavors of apple, mango, pear and carrots. Its a real hit!
MN-UN: What is something about your business that you wish more people knew?
RL: We are a winery destination. Your experience here can last 30 minutes or many hours. You can do a tasting and take wine an go, but many people come here in the summer to sit by the lake or in the shade of the trees and relax. We have a Bistro (food truck) on-site operating through the summer for food and options for games and activities. We are great adult social location, but also a place for families to come and hang out together and enjoy the country.
MN-UN: What’s the best “bang for your buck” wine or cider (not made by you)?
RL: We love wines from all over, but our favorite regions are Dry Creek and the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, California. The Zinfandels from this area are huge with flavor and you’ll always get a quality wine!
MN-UN: What is your favorite gift/gadget to give, or receive?
RL: Haley’s Corker 5 in 1 ($7.28) It aerates, offers a drip free pour, filters, re-corker, and stopper. Also provides side storage leak proof. We sell them at the winer — or, you can find them online.
MN-UN: Open year-around, we recommend stopping by Round Lake Vineyards for their over 70-acre estate! You’re welcome to hike around the property, or if there is snow feel welcome to bring your snow shoes or cross country ski, then stop in to warm up by their cozy fireplace.
You can visit Round Lake Vineyards in Round Lake, MN (Southwestern MN) at 30124 MN-264, Round Lake, MN or online at roundlakevineyards.com.